Credit: U.S. News By: Dr. Leah Light November 7, 2018 Click here to read
Eating Disorders and the Brain
I LOVE to eat. When I was younger, my professional colleagues called me the garbage disposal because when I was finished with my meal, I would finish theirs and NEVER put on a pound. Oh those were great days. My metabolism started slowing down in my 40s and to my dismay, I started gaining unwanted weight. And now, I am in the process of dieting. And for those of you doing this all your life, I finally understand how difficult the process it.
A new study from a team of psychiatrists at UC San Diego looked at eating disorders with recovered anorexic women, recovered bulimic women and women who never had any eating disorder. Their hypothesis is that people with eating disorders do not react to sweet flavors the way healthy people do and that brain differences predispose people toward bulimia and anorexia. The results were published in October 2013 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
These researchers believe these abnormal responses to sugar predispose people to eating disorders adding to a growing body of work suggesting that genetic and biological risk factors underlie most cases. Given our culture’s obsession with “thin” body types, only .05 percent of women in the US are anorexic. This figure has held steady for decades.
What this study finds is that the abnormal brain activity has important implications for how we treat patients. You can no longer say just be mindful of your eating. They cannot be mindful because there is no response in the brain saying, “let me get a sense of how I should eat and when I should eat.” Successful therapies use experiential activities that teach patients how to compensate for their brain’s irregular responses. (Shannon Firth , Scientific American Mind)
Well, all I know is that I need my coffee fix right now. Not later. NOW. And I am so needy, that I am going to make it myself instead of driving down to Starbucks. Later…….